Small change, big impact.
1. If you have 3 minutes: Look up Ruby Etc’s illustrations.
Ruby explains that she uses creative outlets for her mental health issues:
“I think anyone who’s been there has heard the standard ‘flick a rubber band against your wrist’ or ‘squeeze ice cubes’ mantras used by professionals. No one really tells you that creative outlets like knitting and doodling can also work really well. It’s about finding what’s right for you in that moment; there’s no right or wrong way to go about this stuff. When I was struggling with frequent and intense urges to hurt myself or worse, drawing was one of the only nondestructive ways I could express the overwhelming distress that was behind them.”
2. If you have 5 minutes: Gather some photos that mean a lot to you.
“I rarely feel like reading during rough times, so I made this little board with pictures of achievements or happy times to inspire me and remind me that life is not always rough. So I’ve put up the obvious college graduation that meant so much because I was the first in my family, a couple taken in a fun setting at a former job where I was having the time of my life (until I was laid off, but I got back up on my feet), and any other “first” that I had immortalized. Anything, really, that reminded me both of struggles I’d had to fight, but victories or progress in the end. ”
If this feels like too big a project, why not print out photos of your friends to put at your desk, or change your phone background to a photo that makes you smile?
3. If you have 10 minutes: Make a low maintenance plan for yourself.
This tip comes via commenter Jade Stokely:
“I went super back to basics with my expectations of myself. Like, if I tell myself I’m gonna work out and meal prep and clean and draw on my day off, I am just not going to get out of bed because it’s too overwhelming. (Instead of exercise I just try to stretch once a week. Instead of pressuring myself to eat healthy, I just try to eat twice a day minimum. etc.) So even if all I manage to do is get out of bed, I can still tick the box or give myself a sticker or whatever,and I can just be proud of what I did manage.”
4. If you have 15 minutes: Play a game with your friends.
Remee writes: I’m recently getting very agitated at my desk – lights are too bright, screen is hurting my eyes, my back hurts and I go for a walk on my lunch break which helps but if you have something else to help me and others too, I’d love to know..”
To which I respond, it’s time to get chatting. Take a break out of your day to play a game of “Would You Rather” or Rock Paper Scissors with your friends at work. I know this sounds juvenile, but your brain will welcome the distraction, and lack of screens. It’s far better than gchatting aimlessly for 15 minutes.
Buy this tote here.
5. If you have 20 minutes: Download a de-stressing app.
Andy is a fan of Prune (shown above): “The premise here is simple: Prune your Bonsai tree to form it into the shape you’d like. It’s nice and relaxing, with no real objective in mind other than your own creativity.”
6. If you have 30 minutes: Take a nap.
Maybe you don’t have the time (or resources) to take a nap – or maybe napping doesn’t work for you. In which case, what about finding a new series to become obsessed with? This list of anime is a good place to start.